The Hellbender Student Film Festival returns to the campus of Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO) in November 2024. Our mission is to highlight the best student film and video work from Missouri, the US, and the world - high school, undergraduate, and graduate. All screenings are open to the public so we look forward to seeing you there.

In addition to our narrative, documentary, and animated categories, we’re excited to announce we're hanging on to our Experimental Film category.

(The Dance on Film category is presented in collaboration with the Lindenwood University Dance Program)

Best Narrative Short - College/University

Best Narrative Short - High School

Best Documentary Short - College/University

Best Documentary Short - High School

Best Animated Short - College/University

Best Animated Short - High School

Best Dance for Camera

Best Experimental

Best Vertical Film

Hellbender Award (College/University) - Best College/University Film from Missouri

Hellbender Award (High School) - Best High School Film from Missouri


1. All films submitted must comply with these entry rules and regulations in order to be considered eligible for acceptance into the Hellbender Student Film Festival 2024.
2. Eligible films must have been completed after January 1st, 2020 except where otherwise noted.
3. Eligible films must have been created by at least one (1) undergraduate/graduate or high school student in a major contributing role (director, director of photography, editor, writer). There is no need for the submitter or crew members qualifying as student(s) to be actively enrolled at the time of entry. The acceptance of films with participating undergraduate/graduate or high school students who do not have a role listed explicitly above will be decided on a case to case basis and at the full discretion of the Hellbender Student Film Festival.
4. Submissions for the high school categories must include the name of the high school attended by at least one (1) active high school student. They must also include a scanned copy of the school/student ID. (Uploaded to the "Files & Attachments" section of the project page.)
4. Films with ongoing online distribution or availability (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) are not eligible for awards.
5. Work in progress films will not be accepted. Anything that is submitted will be accepted and judged as though it is complete.
6. All entries must be in the English language or contain English subtitles.


1. All films must be submitted via FilmFreeway.
2. Submission of entry is considered legal permission to screen your film during the festival upon acceptance.
3. All submissions will be evaluated by at least two members of our screening team or one programmer.
5. All Filmmakers will be notified on or around October 30, 2024. This is subject to change, so we ask for your patience. Everyone will be notified in a timely fashion.


1. Accepted films will be notified via email at the submitter.
2. Filmmakers (or primary contact) will be required to submit a consent form ensuring an absence of any legal or rights issues, and indemnifying the Hellbender Student Film Festival of any liabilities that may arise out of screening with the festival.
3. Consent form contractually confirms the film for screening at the Hellbender Student Film Festival.
4. Upon acceptance, filmmakers (or primary contact) will provide the following by the dates specified by festival organizers:
○ Required: An exhibition version of the film in Quicktime with a resolution of at least 720p, encoded using H.264, H.265, or, preferably, ProRes.
6. The Hellbender Student Film Festival reserves the right to rescind acceptance of any film for any reason. Film presentations are scheduled at the discretion of the Hellbender Student Film Festival and are subject to change.


Films chosen for competition are judged by a select panel of jurors. Awards are left to the sole discretion of the judges, and a committee selected by the director of the Hellbender Student Film Festival will make any necessary rulings. Awards are announced at the end of the Hellbender Student Film Festival.

Should you have any questions regarding this process or your film’s eligibility, please email

Overall Rating
  • Asher Anantham

    Thank you so much for selecting "Venus Ascending"!

    November 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thanks a lot for the positive review. We appreciate it.

  • Sabrina Merrill

    I actually got to attend this festival and had a great time! As a film maker it was great interacting with the students and everyone was super friendly!

    November 2021
  • Great festival even though the conditions were hard... Good luck

    August 2021
  • Bungee Pictures

    Great film festival! Special thanks to Andrew for his warm hospitality even though we could not meet face to face as we are based in Singapore. Despite the ongoing pandemic, communication was smooth and it was a stellar film festival that we would highly recommend to budding filmmakers.

    June 2021
  • Jared Goudsmit

    Communicative, warm folks, and very flexible in dealing with the chaos of COVID. Would recommend!

    April 2021